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“Poor for a 4 star”

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Mercure Darlington Kings Hotel
Ranked #7 of 21 Hotels in Darlington
Chichester, England, United Kingdom
2 reviews
“Poor for a 4 star”
Reviewed 2 January 2014

On arrival I was informed that the car park was full. Only alternative offered was to park illegally in the street in a 'loading only' bay or a public car park 2 streets away.
I was traveling with my partner and our 4 month old baby. Room was far far away from reception requiring 2 seperate lift journeys and a long walk. No porter was available. No porter trolly was available.
This meant I had to make 5 seperate journeys from the car (in the street) to the room to unload luggage by hand. This took over an hour, after driving 7 hours to get to the hotel.
Each time I had to bang on the door to get the receptionist to open the door for me.
I then had to get up at 7am in order to move the car from the 'loading bay' in order to avoid a parking ticket. I had no choice but to park in the 'full' hotel car park blocking another guests vehicle.
However, the hotel car park was not serviced by the hotel lift so that reloading the car to leave had the added inconvienience of 3 flights of stairs!
P.S
I should add that the hotel is close to a church. This church chimes the hour on the hour. It also chimes at quarter past, half past and quarter to. All through the night!

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with Accorhotels.com

Helpful?
Thank Martin B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dale N, General Manager at Mercure Darlington Kings Hotel, responded to this review, 6 January 2014
Thank you for reviewing your stay with us. I am sorry you you found the car parking unsuitable. On street parking is available until 8am as reception instructed and is not illegal. Restrictions apply once loading times are reached. Within less than a 5 minute walk there is a car park off St Cuthberts way charging only £2.50 for 24 hours. I am sorry you were not assisted with luggage which would have been provided had you asked. Thank you for your review.
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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
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  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (107)
Date | Rating
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English first
Mansfield, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
69 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 January 2014

The location of this hotel leaves a lot to be desired, and the car park is woefully inadequate for a hotel of its size. There is no disabled access to the hotel's reception from the car park. On our first visit, we were given keys to a room which had not been serviced, and had a very limited choice of food and wine in the restaurant, though the food was well cooked and the waiting staff are excellent. The bathrooms have been refurbished to a high standard, but the hand basins in the rooms our party occupied were in a dreadful state and in urgent need replacement.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Scouseduo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dale N, General Manager at Mercure Darlington Kings Hotel, responded to this review, 2 January 2014
Thank you for reviewing our hotel. Like many town centre locations they have no parking but we have limited spaces here.Within less than 5 minutes walk there is a 24 hour car park that charges only £2.50 for a full 24 hours. We benefit from having the towns shopping and evening entertainment on the door with no taxi fares. I believe we have discussed the bathroom seperately for which I apologise.
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hartlepool, united kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
139 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 245 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 December 2013

I stayed here the Saturday before Christmas – my partner was having his works Xmas party here so there was about 18-20 of us in the group. The car park is small and underneath the hotel – Top Tip: get there early. We arrived before 4pm and managed to get one of the only 2 spaces that were left. Some of our friends ended up having to park a 15 minute walk away – not good on a very rainy/windy day! Check in was fast and friendly, the hotel is a bit of a strange layout with some rooms involving a lift to the second floor followed by a walk down a corridor to a further lift but we had no issues finding our room.

The room was small but nicely furnished with a decent bathroom. We had no problems with the room at all. Some of us met for a few drinks in the hotel bar on the ground floor – service wasn’t great but to be honest it was modern and welcoming and we only had a couple before going back to our rooms to get ready. The hotel overall is bright, clean and modern.

The Xmas Party was bog-standard fare. The salmon mousse was tiny but adequate; the turkey dinner was exactly what you get in countless other similar hotels across the country. I didn’t eat my dessert. Entertainment was terrible (but then I’ve come to expect this…) with some amateurish guy singing (badly) followed by a disco. There was a good crowd there though in terms of the guests, and we managed to have a good time and make it a good night. I’m not sure how much the meal cost.

We didn’t pay for breakfast as there’s a Wetherspoons literally across the street which is where some of us went. Check out was again quick, and I was astounded when my partner took his card out to pay to be told he’d already paid. He had thought £50 was just the deposit – to be honest for this standard of hotel in Darlington centre the Saturday before Xmas, £50 for a double room is exceptional value. I assumed we maybe got it cheap as there was a large party of us but turned out I was wrong – that was the standard price.

A decent night and brilliant value for money. I’d stay there again no problem.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank suzHartlepool
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dale N, General Manager at Mercure Darlington Kings Hotel, responded to this review, 2 January 2014
Thank you for your review of the hotel and party night. I am delighted you enjoyed most aspects of your stay and you found the discounted room rate to be good value. I am sorry you found our party as bog standard as we have had some very positive comments. There is a car park within less than five minutes walk that costs only £2.50 for 24 hours which reception could direct you to. Thank you for your review and we hope to see you return soon.
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Jersey, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviewed 29 December 2013

The room itself was ok, however the double glazed window was broken and a metal bolt was attached to work as a fastener. This was a little dangerous (the handle was also removed) and did not offer soundproof or draft proofing.
However, I was moved to write this due to the staff at the hotel. Retuning around midnight on Christmas Day, I was confronted by the receptionist who not only asked for my room number, but demanded to see my room key. As a paying guest (and member or this particular hotel group) I was surprised to be challenged like this. I have never been stooped by any hotel before to prove that I was a guest mid way through my stay - and I was completely offended and taken aback by this. His tone was accusatory, as though he didn't believe we were guests and because of this I shall never return again.
On checking out in a hurry at 4.30am I was also surprised to see the same receptionist trying to charge us for breakfast each day (which we never had) however due to the issue he had compensated us (£4.95) for the coffee we owed. This 10 minute delay was frustrating as it made us late when leaving so early in the morning.

Room Tip: The hotel was refurbished after a fire in 2012 - ask for one of the refurbished rooms as ours seemed...
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank JonSJersey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dale N, General Manager at Mercure Darlington Kings Hotel, responded to this review, 30 December 2013
Thank you for reviewing your recent stay with us. I do apologise you felt you were challenged upon your return to the hotel at midnight. I am sure this question was made in the interests of guest security. Being located so centrally in the town centre it is usual for the fornt desk to ask for your name and room number (particualrly if they didnt check you you in ) for security. I regret there was an issue with the window fastening for which I apologise. It would be useful if you could forward your room number to me in order to check this out. I do hope you will reconsider our hotel for a future visit.
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Level 6 Contributor
229 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 107 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 December 2013

very nice clean hotel. Room was small but everything that you need. En suite bathroom with nice shower and bath. Parking was a bit rubbish, in that it was small and difficult to get a space, but staff very helpful with maps and advice. Bed was clean but very soft mattress... not to everyone's liking. Tv in bedroom had freeview.
Overall good value, and tasty breakfast. Hotel very central for town centre.
Weird lift system, to get to fourth floor you had to get one lift to second floor and then walk about 3mins to get to another lift which takes you to third and fourth floor. Not a problem though.
Would recommend.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Whamchick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dale N, General Manager at Mercure Darlington Kings Hotel, responded to this review, 30 December 2013
Thank you for reviewing your overnight stay with us. I am delighted you found the hotel to be clean, good value and you enjoyed your breakfast. The basement does provide limited parking but there is an 24 hour carpark within a 5 minute walk for only £2.50 which I see the staff helpfully directed you too. The layout is not what you would find in a modern box hotel but certainly adds character to the stay.
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London, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
46 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 December 2013 via mobile

So many problems it's easier to do bullet points.

- Told food would be 10-15 minutes before ordering. Important because we had to get in and our quickly. Took 40 for it all to arrive.
- Meals all came at different times, over a 15 minute period.
- Forgot some meals but claimed not to and that it was busy. Less than half the tables were taken.
- They had sold out of 3 things we ordered but only told us 25 minutes after we ordered. Very annoying and we ended up cancelling one meal.
- The two guys working in the bar were totally disinterested. For example when we cancelled a meal he just walked off, didn't even offer a refund, we has to ask!

Food, when they had it and it arrived was OK but awful service ruined the experience. The food stops it being a 1/5.

Avoid.

Stayed December 2013, travelled with friends
Helpful?
Thank Peter P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dale N, General Manager at Mercure Darlington Kings Hotel, responded to this review, 30 December 2013
Thank you for completing a review of your meal experience. I apologise that this sounds far from satisfactory. It would be most helpful if you could forward the date and the items ordered so I can investigate what ocurred on the day. Thank you in advance.
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Darlington, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 December 2013

Work Xmas party held here 21 Dec, staff all very pleasant and the meal was tasty however everyone said it was on the meagre side, 1 slice of Turkey 1 roasty etc
Nice but everyone said they could've eaten it again

  • Stayed December 2013
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
Thank Pauldm82
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dale N, General Manager at Mercure Darlington Kings Hotel, responded to this review, 30 December 2013
Thank you for reviewing your party night held with us. I apologise you felt the portion size for your main meal was on the small size. We would certainly have offered you additional potatoes if you had asked the staff. I am pleased that you had enjoyed the meal besides the comments raised.
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Additional Information about Mercure Darlington Kings Hotel

Property: Mercure Darlington Kings Hotel
Address: 9-12 Priestgate, Darlington DL1 1NW, England (Formerly King's Head Hotel)
Region: United Kingdom > England > Durham > Darlington
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Luxury Hotel in Darlington
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:4 star — Mercure Darlington Kings Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 83
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The hotel is superbly located in the heart of the historic market town, with ideal access to the A1 train st. and airport. Originally built in the 1600s as a Coaching Inn, rebuilt in 1893, and after a 6 million pounds sterling complete refurbishment in 2012, the hotel proudly harmonises its original features with a contemporary designer led style that reflects the hotel's personality. Boasting 83 stylish bedrooms, superior conference and banqueting suites, along with elegantly fashionable rest and bars. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Kings Head Darlington
Head Hotel King
Hotel Kings Head
Mercure Darlington Kings Hotel Durham

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